Dad had been a volunteer gardener at the Halton grove garden at the National Memorial Arboretum and had been part of the team that took what was described as a rough piece of wasteland and turned it into the tranquil and thoughtfully designed space that it now is. The stone above has been laid in his memory and the information board which was partly funded by his old employer, LSC, in his memory was unveiled on Saturday 12th May 2012.
This was also the day chosen for a service at the Halton Grove garden to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of "Trenchard's brats", also known as the RAF Halton Apprentice Scheme. As Dad had been due to take over as Chairman of the Halton Apprentice Association shortly before he died, we were honored to be guests at the event.
W made his first formal appearance as a VIP. We managed to get through most of the "Golden Oldies" pipe and drum numbers before he got a bit grizzly and we made a speedy exit to the public area outside the garden before Lord Trenchard started to speak. Try as I might, I couldn't get W to look up at the Hurricane doing a fly-past, but I did manage to get W into the Air Cadets!!
Although we'd had to take him along because we couldn't get a babysitter, I'm pleased we did. He behaved himself wonderfully and brought many smiles to those present. Most importantly, he was a cheerful reminder to us as we sat in the Arboretum Marquee, where we had last been for dad's wake, that life and death are part of one great miraculous cycle. I'm just sad he's missing some of my best bits.
For more details on the Halton Grove and how it has come into being, visit http://223halton.hosting.idnet.net/arboretum.htm